Sweet for Succot
For the sweet side of the Succot menu, sometimes the best choice is a simple homemade fruit dessert.
Cake Photo: Courtesy
For the sweet side of the Succot menu, sometimes the best choice is a simple
homemade fruit dessert.
A longtime favorite of ours is apple flan, made
of sauteed apples baked in an easy-to-make custard. In France, chefs enhance the
apple taste by flavoring the custard with Calvados, a Norman apple brandy. (See
Another easy but delicious treat is a fruit parfait with yogurt and
granola. Betty Rosbottom, author of Sunday Brunch, makes lightly spiced plum
parfaits by cooking diced plums in a hot frying pan with a little sugar and
sweet spices – ground ginger and cinnamon. After a few minutes of cooking, the
sugar turns syrupy and the plums become tender. At serving time, she layers the
plums in wine glasses with lightly sweetened Greek yogurt (which is similar to
labaneh) flavored with a bit of vanilla, and tops each layer with a sprinkling
Rosbottom uses apples and dates to make another fruit dessert
with a creamy topping. For her apple and date compote with maple cream, she
sautees apple wedges in butter with a sprinkling of brown sugar. After removing
the apple pieces, she simmers apple juice in the pan with honey, lemon juice and
sweet spices, and then adds quartered dates and heats the apples in the light
sauce. She serves the fruit with a topping of whipped cream combined with sour
cream and maple syrup, and a garnish of toasted walnuts.
If you’re in the
mood for a more substantial sweet, consider baking a pudding. Stephen and Ethel
Longstreet, authors of The Joys of Jewish Cooking, make Succot date and walnut
pudding with very little sugar, as the dates naturally contribute sweetness. The
ingredients for their pudding are similar to those for a cake – flour, sugar and
eggs – and the batter can be stirred together in a few minutes. (See recipe.)
The Longstreets’ apple bread pudding is another simple combination, made of
beaten eggs, sugar and milk flavored with vanilla, nutmeg and a little salt. To
this batter they add thin apple slices and bread cubes, and bake the pudding in
a buttered dish set in a pan of hot water. They serve the pudding with heavy
Homey fruit cakes are perfect Succot desserts. To make a
fruit-topped country cake, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, authors of Home
Baking, bake pears or apples in a yeast dough. The cake is enriched with a bit
of butter, and for its sweetness depends mainly on the fruit. (See recipe.)
Making such a cake, wrote the authors, is “easy as pie...easier than
Faye Levy is the author of 1,000 Jewish Recipes.
FRENCH APPLE FLAN
This dessert is from Fresh from France: Dessert Sensations by
To make the dessert parve, substitute vegetable oil or
margarine for the butter, and use 11⁄2 cups soy milk or other nondairy milk
instead of the combination of milk and cream.
350 gr. (3⁄4 lb.) apples –
sweet, semi-tart or tart
1 Tbsp. butter
5 to 7 Tbsp. sugar, depending on the
sweetness of the apples
1⁄2 cup creme fraiche, sour cream or whipping cream
1 to 11⁄2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. Calvados
(apple brandy), other brandy or 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to
175ºC (350ºF). Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Heat butter in a large
skillet, add apples and stir until coated with butter. Cover and cook over
medium-low heat, stirring often, until apples are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Add 2 or 3 Tbsp. sugar, depending on the sweetness of the apples, and cook
uncovered over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the liquid that comes out
of the apples evaporates.
Generously butter four 2⁄3-cup ramekins. Spoon
apple mixture into ramekins. If you will be adding creme fraiche or other cream,
measure 1 cup milk; if not adding cream, measure 11⁄2 cups milk. Bring milk to a
boil. Remove from heat and cool a few minutes.
Whisk eggs and yolks
lightly in large bowl. Add 4 Tbsp. sugar and whisk just to blend. Stir in creme
fraiche, if using, and whisk it in lightly. Gradually pour in about 1⁄2 cup
milk, stirring with whisk. Using wooden spoon, gradually stir in
remaining 1⁄2 cup milk, or 1 cup milk if you are not adding cream. Stir in
Calvados. Pour into measuring cup. Skim foam from surface of
Set ramekins in a roasting pan or large shallow baking dish.
Divide custard mixture evenly among ramekins. Place pan with ramekins in oven.
Add enough very hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Set a
sheet of foil on top to cover ramekins. Bake until the point of a small
thin-bladed knife inserted gently in center of each ramekin comes out clean,
about 28 minutes.
Serve dessert hot or cold, in the
Makes 4 servings
SUCCOT DATE AND NUT PUDDING
old-fashioned Russian baked pudding is from The Joys of Jewish Cooking. For
dairy meals, authors Stephen and Ethel Longstreet recommend whipping 2 cups
heavy cream to serve on top of the pudding.
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped pitted dates
1 cup walnut
halves 3 eggs
1 Tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Grease a deep
23-cm. (9-in.) square pan. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a
bowl. Lightly mix in the dates and nuts.
Beat the eggs lightly in another
bowl and add the sugar. Stir in the date, nut and flour mixture.
batter into prepared pan. Bake until pudding is firm, about 40 minutes. Cut
pudding in wedges while it is still warm.
Makes 8 servings
This recipe is from Home Baking. Authors Jeffrey Alford and Naomi
Duguid write that the cake probably has its origins in the country habit of
baking a cake from extra yeast dough left after making bread.
simple bread dough needs only a few minutes of kneading, and has a quick topping
of sliced fruit, sugar, cinnamon and small pieces of butter.
1⁄4 cup warm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 large egg
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄2 cups all purpose flour
or 2 small pears or apples
about 1⁄4 cup sugar
1 to 1 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
tsp. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
To make the dough, stir the sugar
into the warm water, then stir in the yeast. Beat the egg in a medium bowl. Stir
in the salt and butter, then 1⁄2 cup of the flour. Stir briefly, then add the
yeast mixture and stir it in. Add 3⁄4 cup more flour and stir in. Turn the dough
out onto a floured surface and knead until firm and smooth, about 4
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover well with plastic
wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 11⁄2 hours.
When ready to
bake, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 200ºC
Butter a 23-cm. (9-in.) square or 25-cm. (10-in.) round, shallow
cake pan or 25-cm. (10-in.) tart pan. Peel, core and thinly slice the
Flatten the dough out in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the
sugar and half the cinnamon, then arrange the fruit slices decoratively on top,
to cover the whole surface. Sprinkle on the remaining sugar and cinnamon and
then dot with the small pieces of butter. Let stand, covered, for 10
Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Serve hot or at room
Makes 8 servings